In November of 2001, Carol Howard paid abortionist James Pendergraft $1300 to abort her child. She knew she was pretty far along, but no ultrasound was done to confirm just how far. According to court documents, Ms. Howard had been given drugs which were designed to kill her child and send her into labor. She was supposed to deliver her stillborn into one of the clinic’s toilets.
However, after 12 hours of labor, Carol Howard left the clinic very upset that things were taking too long and went to a nearby hospital. They delivered a baby girl who weighed 1 lb. 6 oz., very much alive but consumed with a host of severe medical ailments. At 10 years old, she has cerebral palsy, no function on the left side of her body, strokes and brain damage, problems with development and lung damage. Pendergraft was found liable for her medical conditions, the result of her “botched abortion.” His recent appeal was denied, and he must pay $36 million in damages.
If you are like me, a whole host of conflicted thoughts are entering your mind. Has he been sued because he failed to complete the abortion, or, in other words, because this little girl is still alive, or because of her injuries? The mother’s attorney argued that if Pendergraft had done an ultrasound, it would have been determined that the child was 22 weeks and beyond the point of viability, in which case Ms. Howard declares she would not have pursued an abortion. I’m not doubting her word, but I can’t help but believe that if the baby had been born dead in that clinic toilet a few hours earlier, there would have been no court case. The cruel irony of that bothers me a lot!
Don’t get me wrong: I believe that this butcher owes this little girl for the pain she will suffer at his hands. However, on top of all the physical suffering, how does a child cope with the fact that her own mother tried to kill her? Perhaps she repented of that long ago and has made that fact clear to her little girl. I hope that is the case. Even still, unless brain damage prevents it, there will be a day when that child will realize that if all had gone as planned, she would be dead. Pendergraft’s mal-practice cruelly injured her but it also saved her life.
In spite of the fact that James Pendergraft has had his medical license suspended four times for botched abortions, illegal late-term abortions, and dipensing drugs without a license, he was exposed recently by Operation Rescue for opening a secret late-term abortion business around Washington D.C. He opened up a website at www.latetermabortion.net, that spells out how he is available to “help” women from all over the world to abort their late-term pregnancies.
Everything is kept very “hush-hush.” Patients are instructed that “on the day of arrival, you will be told of a designated area to meet based on when you arrive to the D.C. area by plane, train, car or other form of transportation.” They are told that only one other person can come with them to the secret spot where the procedure will occur.
Pendergast’s new preferred method for killing late-term babies? He injects a spinal needle into the fetal heart where “a feticide agent or 50 cc’s of air is injected via a syringe to stop the fetal heart beat.” They are then sent on their way within 10 to 15 minutes to await the delivery of their dead child. Where? Well that is not mentioned. I guess they are on their own. Oh, but the website does warn that severe bleeding might occur, and even death by sepsis, but they can call the 24 hour number if they have any concerns or questions.
Late term means that the baby is probably over 20 weeks, even as much as close to normal delivery size. Shame may keep some of these women from seeking legitimate medical help to deliver. That could put her at great risk, physically as well as emotionally. We had a woman come to us here at the Center who had a late-term abortion over two decades ago. She gave birth to a live baby girl all alone in a toilet. She called for help, but the clinic staff allowed the child to die. That horrendous memory has haunted her every day, causing her such depression that she has been unable to sleep or keep a steady job. I can only imagine how many “walking wounded” women there are out there.
I have beaten this drum before, but I will continue to say this until the day I die: there is never a reason for any abortion, but there is especially no excuse for late-term abortions! Especially tragic are the stories of loving and caring parents who have been convinced that they should abort a child who the doctors think will be handicapped or not survive birth. These mothers and fathers should never be presented with such a terrible quandary. They should, instead, be provided with information on hospice care which will lovingly provide information and comfort to prepare them to have their precious child and then to deal with the death or the handicap with support and compassion.
How can abortion ever be conveyed as compassion? What is compassionate about the methods in which babies are killed in the womb? How can a doctor prescribe dismemberment or an injection of poison to the heart as the best option? Plus, we have all heard of many cases where the doctor was wrong in his diagnosis; where children who should have died at birth or born as “vegetables’ not only lived but thrived! Death leaves no room for miracles to occur or prayers to be answered; it is the end of all hope.
Should late-term abortionists like Pendergast have to pay for the damages they cause to those who have survived their ghastly procedures? Yes, I am glad he has to pay millions to this poor little girl. I think he should also have to pay for the counseling many of patients will have to seek to pull them out the deep despair that haunts them after the sight of their dead, fully formed, perfect children lying in disgrace in a toilet. It may not happen in this world, but I take comfort in the fact that there will be a day of reckoning, as well as a time when the insanity of this world will end.
Keeping it true! Barb